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Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson in Passing by Rebecca Hall
Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson in Passing by Rebecca Hall. Photo by Edu Grau.

Ahead of the NY premiere at the New York Film Festival, Netflix released the official trailer for Passing, the drama starring Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson as two Black women who can “pass” as white during the Harlem Renaissance in late 1920s New York.

Directed by Rebecca Hall, Passing had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, and opens in select theaters on October 27 followed by Netflix on November 10.

Adapted from the celebrated 1929 novel of the same name by Nella Larsen, PASSING tells the story of two Black women, Irene Redfield (Tessa Thompson) and Clare Kendry (Academy Award nominee Ruth Negga), who can “pass” as white but choose to live on opposite sides of the color line during the height of the Harlem Renaissance in late 1920s New York. After a chance encounter reunites the former childhood friends one summer afternoon, Irene reluctantly allows Clare into her home, where she ingratiates herself to Irene’s husband (André Holland) and family, and soon her larger social circle as well. As their lives become more deeply intertwined, Irene finds her once-steady existence upended by Clare, and PASSING becomes a riveting examination of obsession, repression and the lies people tell themselves and others to protect their carefully constructed realities.

Acclaimed upon its premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Passing marks the directorial debut of Rebecca Hall, who also adapted the screenplay. The film intimately uses the notion of “passing” to explore not just racial identity but gender and the responsibilities of motherhood, sexuality and the performance of femininity.

Passing also stars Bill Camp, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, and Alexander Skarsgard.

Watch the official trailer for Passing.

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